Facial Recognition Legislation in California
This new mass surveillance system would suppress civic engagement and inspire fear
By Chris Micheli, March 4, 2023 6:53 pm
Two new bills in the California Legislature were substantially amended on March 2 to deal with facial recognition technology. They are AB 642 by Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and AB 1034 by Assemblywoman Lori D. Wilson (D-Suisun City).
AB 642 would add Penal Code Section 13680 effective July 1, 2024 to require a law enforcement agency that operates facial recognition technology (FRT) to meet specified requirements. The first requirement is that only FRT systems with algorithms that have been evaluated under the National Institute of Standards and Technology Face Recognition Vendor Test Program and have demonstrated an accuracy score of at least 98 percent true positives within two or more datasets relevant to investigative applications on a program report could be used. The second requirement is that the agency would have a written policy that includes all of the required provisions prescribed in this new statute.
The written policy would include a requirement that FRT use be limited to specifically authorized personnel, a manager be assigned to oversee the FRT program, and a policy that describes the parameters of acceptable inputs to be used for queries of available databases and that prohibits the use of sketches or other manually produced images.
In addition, an acceptable use policy would have to include specific allowances and restrictions on use, as well as a prohibited used policy meeting certain prohibitions. There would also have to be a requirement that a record of all FRT queries be maintained by the agency. Moreover, a law enforcement agency that uses FRT would be required to post specified information on their internet website.
The admissibility or exclusion of an FRT query result as evidence in any court proceeding would be governed by the Evidence Code. The new statute would define the following terms: “facial recognition technology” or “FRT,” as well as “law enforcement agency.”
AB 1034 would add and repeal Penal Code Section 832.19. Section 1 of the bill would specify eight legislative findings and declarations including that the widespread use of facial recognition on police body cameras would be the equivalent of requiring every Californian to show their photo ID card to every police officer they pass. This new mass surveillance system would suppress civic engagement and inspire fear.
In addition, while in effect, Section 832.19 of the Penal Code protected Californians from dangerous police surveillance. Just like when Section 832.19 of the Penal Code was enacted, the only appropriate standard for facial recognition on body cameras continues to be a prohibition on its use.
Section 2 of the bill would add Penal Code Section 832.19 and define the following terms: “biometric data,” “biometric surveillance system,” “facial recognition or other biometric surveillance,” “law enforcement agency,” “law enforcement officer, “officer camera,” “surveillance information,” and “use.”
The bill would prohibit a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer from installing, activating, or using any biometric surveillance system in connection with an officer camera or data collected by an officer camera. In addition to any other sanctions, penalties, or remedies provided by law, a person may bring an action for equitable or declaratory relief in a court of competent jurisdiction against a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer that violates this section.
This section would not preclude a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer from using a mobile fingerprint scanning device during a lawful detention to identify a person who does not have proof of identification. This section would remain in effect only until January 1, 2034.
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3 thoughts on “Facial Recognition Legislation in California”
These bills and their amendments appear to sneak in the use of Facial Recognition Technology, which was illegal before 2023, under the guise of protecting the citizen with specific requirements for law enforcement. Am I wrong? Could be. But if I’m correct this is scary and we can’t let it happen.
Foolish puppet Asm Phil Ting was recently in the news re-introducing legislation to fine businesses that give out paper receipts unless the customer specifically asks for a paper receipt. He did it for the cameras and had his aide dress up as a paper receipt (honest!) to give it attention. The environmental reasons given are stupid and bogus. Instead it appears that Ting is all-in for doing his little part to shift to a digital economy and sneaking in FRT (facial recognition technology) would be part of it too.
“California bill would bar and fine businesses using paper receipts”
If I’ve missed what’s going on here, someone please let me know. Maybe it’s too early on a Sunday morning for me to be analyzing the product of ridiculous CA Dem legislators. 🙂
I think it’s hilarious that Dems/Lib/Prog detail the parameters to such an extent, as if they’re already aware
it’s their party most likely to violate laws. Suddenly they care about something! It’s like watching
Circus Circus, with a Governor that’s so afraid of people he doesn’t share a public schedule and sneaks off, and legislature that latched on to the linguistics (by design) parroting ‘Democracy’ without knowing what that means, when we live in a Republic, even says Republic on our flag! Every evil they have planned for us will
fail, the foundations of their power will collapse… God has decreed it, we have declared it in the Name of Jesus
Christ! Laugh, it’s good for the soul! Oh, can’t get they aide dressed as a receipt out of my head!-LOL Pray, it
will be your saving grace.
So glad you got a laugh out of this, Marilyn Midura. I also couldn’t help laughing at the aide’s paper receipt Halloween costume. These people are often cartoon-ish, as you know, and hilarious, as you said. Good thing! We need some comic relief.
Appreciate the hope — and the reason for the hope — that you offer in your comments. 🙂